March 10, 2019
Here at Personal Care Physicians, we’ve had the consideration and/or opportunity expand our practice twice in the last couple of years. In each case, we did not do so, choosing instead to stay focused on the patients in our practice and improving on our clinical knowledge bases to further the health of our patient community. However, over time, we continued to receive numerous unsolicited requests to become part of our patient community, and our waiting list continued to amass to greater numbers.
When opportunity knocked again in very late 2018, we asked ourselves again, “Why would we consider expanding the practice now? What’s different?” We concluded that indeed, this time, much is different. Most importantly, we realized that in previous years, we considered expanding simply because we could. But now, we decided to expand because we have the right people to do so, and because the need and demand to do so continues to grow. In early 2018, Dr. Mark met another MD, Jeff Kreher, at a functional medicine conference. They found they shared a great passion to center on patients’ interests first, and to go above and beyond the “status quo” of mainstream medicine. As the year progressed, Dr. Mark met several other clinicians who shared this same mindset, and as good timing would have it, among those was Michele Guilfoyle, a Physician Assistant who was so committed to a better way of practicing medicine that she had left her position at an office in NH of 20 years long (she was the longest tenured clinician there!), committed to pursuing a yet undetermined future direction and professional position. Between Dr. Jeff and Michele, Personal Care Physicians knew we had a team of patient-centric, committed clinicians, who embodied our principles, value system, and root foundations, from which we could expand the practice to serve more patients in need of yet-unfound answers, or a greater level of care – a personal level of care. It is with this narrative as the backdrop, that we proudly announce the pending arrivals of Michele Guilfoyle, PA and Jeff Kreher, MD:
Michele is an experienced PA with a background in nutrition – she was a registered dietician (RD) and worked with a broad spectrum of patients from those who were very sick in hospital ICUs to pregnant women and children through WIC programs… She left her former position in New Hampshire after developing an interest in integrative/functional medicine and a stronger belief in “Food as Medicine”, beyond what the mainstream medical model allows for in practice.
She incorporates integrative approaches, including nutritional and lifestyle counseling and mind-body medicine to complement conventional treatment. “After working in the medical field for 20 years, I believe this is the best way to treat the whole person and enhance patients’ physical, mental and emotional well-being. I strive to evaluate each patient’s unique situation and to offer compassionate care that takes into account each person’s overall health and well-being.” Her particular health interests include women’s health, hormones, nutrition, gut health, and preventative medicine.
Michele is a native of the Seacoast NH area. Fitness is important to her, and she regularly practices yoga, pilates, and likes to run – she has completed several half-marathons.
Jeff Kreher, MD is a seasoned physician with an extensive training background. His undergraduate education included time at the Air Force Academy as well as Stuttgart, Germany. After medical school, he completed residency in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, where he served as Chief Resident from 2002-2003 (as Dr. Mark puts it, “It’s like he trained to be a doctor twice!”). After a few years practicing primary care, he then completed a fellowship in Musculoskeletal and Sports Medicine at Boston University/Boston Medical Center in 2007, and more recently has been on staff at Mass General Hospital, seeing patients as well as educating medical students and residents from Harvard Medical School/MGH for Children. He has served as team physician for a variety of amateur and professional athletes – from High School through Olympic levels of competition.
Dr. Kreher finds great fulfillment being an educator. Having been greatly educated himself, he has passed on his education to other students and residents, and now turns to being an empowering educator to his patients. Having discovered the amazing world of functional medicine, and the great ability to explore root causes of diseases rather than simply treating symptoms, he was no longer satisfied with the conventional model of care, and now looks forward to the opportunity to partner with his patients in true lifestyle medicine at Personal Care Physicians.
In his personal time, Dr. Jeff enjoys spending time with his two children, biking, hiking, practicing yoga, fermenting foods, and playing board games.
For those of you on our waiting list, we will be contacting you in the next 2-3 months, so please be on the lookout for us by phone or email! For those of you interested in potentially joining our practice, feel free to contact us, as we will be accepting new patients again on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will be closing our practice again once we are full.
May 15, 2017
Dr. Mark’s daily (left) and weekly (right) supplements! They include Methyl B12 (for the MTHFR genetic defect), TheraCurcumin (potent anti-inflammatory), high dose fish oil, carnitine (for energy), magnesium, probiotics, vitamin D, and more!
March 25, 2015
(This post is replicated from the blog site, www.UnderTheMonkeyBars.com, where Dr. Su was invited to be a guest blogger on March 25, 2015.)
Hi – my name is Mark Su. I’m a family medicine physician in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where I reside with my family. Christine has invited me as a periodic guest blogger, which I am certainly privileged and honored to be part of Under the Monkey Bars!
As a physician, I am passionate about educating and empowering my patients first and foremost, but also anyone who has the interest and motivation to take charge of their health. Regularly, I have patients and friends say to me, “I’m sure you hate it when people read stuff on the internet…” to which I always respond, “No, actually, I don’t mind it at all!” Why? Because although the internet can be a two-edged sword with both beneficial information and misinformation, I am a believer that over time, we are becoming more savvy at interpreting the information we glean from web surfing. We are recognizing what content is more valid or accurate, and what content is suspect or just plain false. Quite frankly, I’ve found my patients to be far more commonly on-target than misinformed from their internet reading to date, and I only expect that ratio to further improve.
– more “cutting edge” (i.e. functional medicine or genetic medicine oriented)
– more of a mix with alternative or lifestyle medicine (i.e. focus on the importance of nutrition, fitness, detox/cleanse practices)
– or exploring the deeper layers of what ultimately drive our healthcare decision-making processes: our life priorities and philosophies, our self identities, our perspectives on life and death, our fears, our loves.The world as we know it is constantly changing. The internet stands at the forefront of this principle. The medical community only stands to lose by fighting this. On the contrary, I’ve jumped in, embraced this evolution, and stand arms locked with those like Christine who can help others from a real-world, daily grind position of knowledge and experience, to empower our communities both local and distant.
December 5, 2014
One of our patients forwarded me a link today, from an NPR blog.
(or paste this link – http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/12/05/368736643/if-slow-is-good-for-food-why-not-medicine?sc=ipad&f=1001)
I’ll let the article’s text speak for itself, but suffice it to say, I found this perspective insightful, and reflective of the values upon which Personal Care Physicians was founded upon: 1) providing enhanced medical care to our patients by creating the appropriate time and space for communications, translating into a valuable relationship that fosters mutual trust between both patient and physician; and 2) creating opportunities to journey with our patients in lifestyle changes – the optimal “medical treatment”. Adequate nutrition, fitness, stress management, sleep/rest, and inner peace are counter-cultural to our commercialized, fast-paced generation, but by no means does this mean they are unachievable. So kudos to those in our patient community who have decided to care for themselves and attend to their well-being!, whether by simply joining this practice, or for confronting a health need, or perhaps even working on some of those more challenging areas of life with our health coach, Colleen, or our resident therapist and mindfulness/meditation guru, Dr. Swartz.
Thank you again for caring about yourself, and allowing us to journey with you in that process!
September 7, 2014
Sometimes, statistics and data can be very insightful. Recently, one of our patients posted an interesting graph on his Facebook page reflecting one such example:
(click the picture for a larger, more detailed view)
While this graph compares a whole century of evolution in medical care, encompassing a multitude of factors, most notably the discovery of antibiotics, the fact of the matter is that this graph can be summarized by a simple conclusion: causes of death have dramatically shifted over the last century from acute, infection-based conditions now to chronic, inflammatory disease-based conditions. Deaths due to infections have nearly evaporated from 53% down to a barely noticeable 3%, while the collective group of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease have ballooned from 18% to 73%.
What does this say about the health of society, and more importantly, what does this mean to each of us as individuals? We’ve done a good job at identifying and treating acute and potentially threatening infections. We’re living longer, and subsequently, we need to take better care of ourselves in areas that are harder to assess and harder to continuously be attentive toward. Because it’s now even less of a race and even more of a marathon, we need to pay continuous and disciplined attention to our form – to the basic fundamentals of our body and it’s performance, and not just react when emergent symptoms arise, which can commonly reflect a crisis point. Think about it: how do we measure “inflammation”, the now-understood common basis of heart disease, diabetes, and more? Sure, there’s the cardiac CRP blood test, but how accurate is this in truly assessing inflammation? And of course, historically, there’s profiling each individual’s risk factors – but just how helpful is this? And when do we really become more aware that inflammation is an issue? – commonly, it’s when we’re diagnosed with diabetes, a stroke, or a heart attack: the latter stages of disease. And thus, we arrive at this conclusion: it’s time to stop just giving lip service to “preventive medicine”, and actually put it into action.
So, what can we do? At a minimum, this should urge us to continue, or increase, our mindful nutrition and exercise habits. Eating healthily (fruits and vegetables; living foods rather than processed foods) and exercising regularly go a long, long way in keeping our bodies clean and optimally fueled. Further steps might include awareness and reduction of toxins that burden our bodies: cigarettes, alcohol, heavy metals from our water source or other foods (eg, mercury in certain fish), plastics in our food preparation or storage (eg, BPA in food containers), environmental influences at some of our workplaces, stress management (which may include relationship conflicts, internal conflicts, life circumstances of which we have less influence, etc), and more. Quantified diagnostic steps might include specialized functional testing: assessing our gut health ecosystem (healthy, balanced bacterial colonies? unwanted yeast or parasites? malabsorption or digestive deficiencies?), our micronutrient cellular energy-production processes (adequate anti-oxidants, B vitamins, and other minerals that allow our bodies optimal fuel for performance?), food intolerances/allergies, and hormonal imbalances (thyroid, adrenals, gonadal organs?).
At Personal Care Physicians of Greater Newburyport, we are dedicated to engaging with our patients to dig as deep as you are willing to go, and help you take whatever action you’re ready for at any given moment, allowing you to experience life to its fullest for as long as possible. Let’s make life less about avoiding disease and more about pursuing vitality!
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